Album: Voices (EP)
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: 31st of January, 2020
Cover Artwork © Schizophrenia, 2020
Back in 2019, an entire discussion concerning the development of a vivid US American Death Metal scene within the underground – regarding labels such as Maggot Stomp and similar – came up and was predominantly entitled with USDM or – more frequently – OSDM. The Old School Death Metal terminology was now often equivalently coined by a swampy and cavernous sound due to the use of blunt, thick and simple Death Metal riffs within a raw environment. It is misleading, though, to only dedicade this sphere of OSDM to the term itself, since – when going into detail – the phrase “old school” in Death Metal also refers to the initial phase of the genre – when it emerged from a harsh and fast Thrash Metal scene. Taking into consideration such acts as Morbid Angel and early Death, it becomes evident that the thrashy edge of mid-80s Death Metal was a prominent and important factor of the early scene. New quartet Schizophrenia from Belgium puts high emphasis on this factor with theit first EP Voices.
Schizophrenia is a four-member Death Metal act from Belgium. Althogh Belgium is currently most prominently revolving around acts coming from the Church of Ra, Schizophrenia show that there is way more to find. Voices marks the first release after having been founded in 2016 and is a straightforward message to what this act is heading for. It does not take too long to start, since opener “Structure of Death” immediately shows that Schizophrenia is here to point at the fusion of Thrash and Death Metal that was of absolute importance during the early years of the latter. Listening for the first few seconds, this sounds 100% Thrash Metal – speedy riffs, fast drums and an absolute energy going on. Only when vocalist Ricky Mandozzi kicks in, we get the first glance at the fact that this is not a sole Thrash album. Throughout the first track, it becomes more evident that playing with both of the genres is what Schizophrenia can do best.
The entire set of tracks on this EP merges Death and Thrash Metal features, which feels absoutely fresh throughout all five bangers. The recipe for the song structure sticks closely to what we love about Thrash Metal tracks, the vocals and the production scream for Death Metal though. The deeper you go into detail, the more you find out that Schizophrenia is playing along with both of the genres, making use of the immense speed of Thrash Metal and the ferocity of Death Metal. Just listening into “Perpetual Perdition” showcases the immense speed in which guitarists Romeo Promos and Marty VK perfectly execute their riffing – this only gets accelerated by the pacing drums of Lorenzo Vissol.
What eventually results from this combination is an EP that most dominantly strikes due to its raw energy. The recipe of the song structure remains quite similar throughout all of the five tracks – fast and Thrashy intro followed by an insanely speedy verse and quite a catchy chorus, nuanced with a solo on every track. Although this might seem to be repetitive – it is not the song structure that is necessary on this EP but the energy that is transmitted. Just like the music that coined the transition from speedy to ferocious, the energetic and fast playstile was what mattered most and this is also what can be found on Schizophrenia‘s EP. If you are into wild mixtures of Death and Thrash Metal that explode full of energy – this release will be an exellent start into the year.
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8 / 10
As usual, we added the favorite track(s) to our Transcended Review Playlist 2020.